Trump's trade war could have negative effect on New Zealand - Expert Charles Finny

Trade expert Charles Finny has admitted he's keeping a watchful eye over a spat between China and the US in case of possible impacts on New Zealand.

US President Donald Trump has put a hefty tariff on Chinese imports and China retaliated by imposing tariffs of their own.

Mr Finny told the AM Show it's not just the United States getting involved in the fight, but Europe and Japan as well.

And as the old adage goes, "nobody wins in a trade war", especially not small trading nations like New Zealand.

"We have a real risk out there," he said.

"We could see impacts on global prices, we could see product diverted from one market to another and we also have a big threat to the world trade organisation which should be a big concern to all smaller countries."

Mr Finny said any opportunities provided by the stoush would likely be short-term and would be balanced out by the negatives from other markets.

"What we could perhaps gain in one market we would lose in another," he said.

New Zealand is already seeing impacts of the tariffs from our steel and aluminium exports, where tariffs were brought in earlier in 2018.

The new tariffs haven't yet come in but, perception is a big thing and markets are reacting to them already.

Mr Finny said this is going to be a problem for business.

"Business likes certainty and this is all very uncertain, it's very negative," he said.